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What is Gold-Filled?

Breastfeeding symbol necklace in 14kt gold-filled: all the benefits of gold without the hefty price tag
Breastfeeding symbol necklace in 14kt gold-filled: all the benefits of gold without the hefty price tag

I’ve been using gold-filled components for many years now, and I don’t find it to be as popular as sterling silver for my products. I think the reason is many people don’t know or understand what gold-filled is, and why it is priced higher than sterling silver.

Not to be mistaken for gold-plated

So just what is gold-filled? The easiest way to describe it, is layers of brass and gold sandwiched together. These layers are bonded (clad) together with extreme heat and pressure. There is two or three layers within this sandwich. The result is a very durable product that has all the benefits of karat gold without the hefty price tag. The top gold layer does not chip or flake like gold plated items which has a minuscule amount of gold covering. Gold-filled is very popular with jewelry makers like me because it is affordable and easy to obtain. You can expect gold-filled to not tarnish just like a gold wedding band.

Legally gold-filled must contain 5% – or 1/20 gold by weight. If you compare with a gold plated item – which has 0.05% or less gold in the plating – you clearly see the value: 5% vs. 0.05%. Gold-filled products can be purchased in 10 karat, 12 karat or 14 karat gold. I purchase 14kt gold-filled disks and chain for my engraving. You will often see it listed in the industry as 14/20 gold-filled. I put 14kt gold-filled in my listings as karats are more recognizable to the general public.

I have had requests for “pure” gold items, and this may still be an option in the future. I priced one of my necklaces out with 14kt gold components, and the supply price alone was approaching $100 CAD. That is a steep investment for little ol’me. 🙂 It is not out of the question, just out of my reach currently.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 62

Finally! A beautiful day! Felt like spring & the sun came out…a great way to start daylight savings time. Only, it doesn’t make me motivated to stay in and make jewelry. I did however, get 4 pairs of earrings made. Simple designs, mind you. I always feel unfulfilled when I just make simple pairs of earrings. Then today I had a sale in my Etsy Shop of a similar style…so I guess that’s all the confirmation I need that it’s well worth doing! 🙂

It was the day of the hoop earring. I made these gold-filled hoops with a cloisonné bead theme:

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Then these chip bead sterling silver hoops featuring turritella agate & red tiger’s eye:

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I’d love to get my hands on more turritella agate. I love the beautiful pattern of the stone. Anyway, I have a terrible crick in my neck so I have to keep it short & sweet tonight…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 53

Holy crick in the neck!!!  This was a lot of listing…I got in the zone this afternoon and made these 5 pairs of earrings today:

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For the sake of my neck I will try to be brief…I was inspired again by the up-coming St. Patrick’s Day…actually, I was happy to have an opportunity to work with malachite again! I have quite a bit of it and no opportunity to play with it lately. 🙂

I am putting the push on to get my 100 things. I am so close, so I am motivated to just get it done! I do enjoy making earrings when I need volume. It’s like a gratifying creative snack! Once the energy gets flowing I can usually churn out several pars in such a short period of time. They are also easy to photograph so there is not a lot of time editing pictures. Hence, 5 pairs in one afternoon…and afternoon for me with a toddler doesn’t mean the full 4 hours!

A very productive day. For more on malachite & these pieces please visit heavenly flower on Etsy

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 52

I wasn’t home much today, so I just was able to make this simple yet pretty pair of lapis lazuli hoops:

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I have been hanging on to this hanful of lapis chips forever! I was happy to finally use them up in these earrings. These chips have many pyrite inclusions giving them pretty gold flecks throughout. Did you know lapis lazuli is the planetary stone for Capricorn? Learn more about the metaphysical properties of this stone by checking out the Etsy listing for this piece…

I am happy to say that two of the four Celtic earrings I listed last night sold almost instantly. I have an idea for a necklace I was hoping to get to today but I was just too busy. I am officially at 36 weeks today so I am giving myself another week of creating…then it’s all fair game when it comes to birth…anything that gets done after that will be bonus.

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 51

Whew, I think my eyes are bloodshot tonight! Another busy day & I am still amazed at how much energy I have.  Still, I also feel myself quickly fading…so on to the shiny happy things created today…

I was struck with the luck o’ the Irish today! 4 pairs of earrings in anticipation for St. Patrick’s Day:

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I am really happy with how these turned out!  Sometimes themed items can look a bit tacky but I think these are lovely if I don’t say so myself. The first pair I entitled “Celtic Wedding” as I think they would make a lovely bridal pair as well. I am happy to work in malachite with the other three pieces. I haven’t had the opportunity to work in this rich green stone for a very long time!

What I am not happy with, is my descriptions of the pieces in my Etsy listings. They were rather…blah…because I am feeling rather brain dead tonight. So tomorrow I want to rework the wording & also add a bit of information on the history of the Celtic knot symbol. But, that is for another day. I also have ideas for a Celtic themed necklace & bracelet. I have to run into the city tomorrow to the Naturopathic Doctor to pick up my herbs for birth preparation, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to that tomorrow or not…we shall see what my head comes up with tomorrow…

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100 Days of Creativity: Day 50

Wow – I can’t believe I am half way through! Where did the last 50 days go? Time really does fly when you are having fun as they say…

I really wish I had something spectacular for the halfway mark, but it has been a busy day & I am lucky to even get one thing made, photographed & listed.

Here it is…still milking those 10mm faceted black carnelian beads I love so much! I decided I don’t have enough gold in my shop, so I put this pair together today:

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Check out my shop for more info on this piece. I am thinking tomorrow I will make a few celtic themed pieces in honour of St. Patrick’s Day! That is the plan anyway…